While a small part of the territory of Tokat is located in Central Anatolian Region, the larger part is in the Black Sea Region. It is surrounded by Samsun in the north, Ordu in the northeast, Sivas in the south and southeast, Yozgat in the southwest, and Amasya in the west. Lands of the province, located on the Yesilirmak valley, becomes rugged with extension of the North Anatolian Mountains. Rugged terrain of the province are Canik mountains (Kiliktepe 1.546 m) in the north, Kosedag ans Asmalidag mounts in the east region, Deveci and Camlibel Mountains whose peak is outside of the province territories, Buzluk and Sakarat Mountains in the west, Yaylacik Mountain (1.622 m in Great Yaykil Hill) and Memo Mountains in the center. The highest point of the province is the peak of Asmalidag with 2.416 meters of altitude in the southeast part of the province. High parts of the mountains are covered by beech and scotch pine forests.
Main plain areas of the province are Niksar and Erbaa plains that are depression areas located in the areas where the floor of Kelkit River Valley (forming the western part of the Çoruh-Kelkit Valley Range) expanded; the southeast part of Taşova Plain, Kazova Plain located in Yeşilırmak (Green River) Valley between Tokat and Turhal, and Artova Plain in the southern part. Other plain areas of the province are Zile and Omala Plains and Topçam, Batmantaş, Muhat, Dumanlı, Seleman, Bozçalı, Kızılcaören Çamiçi plateaus.
Land of the province are irrigated by Kelkit River and Yeşilırmak River. All of the rivers originated from the province territories reach to Black Sea. Kelkit River and Yeşilırmak River, which collects a great part of these waters, become united in the northwest part of the Erbaa Plain. Leading sub-streams that meets with Yeşilırmak are Çekerek and Karakuş Creeks. Tozanli Creek which is the original sub-stream of Yeşilırmak, constitutes the natural border in the west and north. Sakarat and Kösedağ Mountains seperate the water collecting areas of Kelkit River and the sections of Yeşilırmak located within the province borders. Yıldız Creek, originated from north parts of the province, are one of the sub-streams of Kızılırmak.
Main lakes that are located in the province territories are Göllüköy Lake, Zinav Lake, and Almus, Ataköy, Belpinar and Boztepe Reservoirs. Some parts of the Hasan Uğurlu Reservoir are also located in the Tokat province lands. The province has an altitude of 623 meters from the sea level, has a 9.958 m2 land surface and its total population is 828.027 according to the results of Year 2000 General Census.
Tokat province is a transit area between Black Sea Region and the Central Anatolia, and that's why various climates prevails in the different parts of the province. While winters are warm and summers are hot in the Kelkit Valley, a climate similar to the Mediterranean Region climate is observed in the south part of Reşadiye. While winters are warm and summers are cool in Tozanli valley, plateau character of cold winters and cool summers are observed in Çekerek region.
Natural vegetation of Tokat is steps in general. There are plateaus in high parts of the forest-rich mountains. Almost all of the mountains are covered with forests.
Tokat is located on North Anatolia Fracture Fault Line and it is in the First Degree Earthquake Zone. Because of that Niksar-Erbaa Earthquake, that took place in 1942, caused significant loss of life and damages in Tokat region.
The economy of the province mainly depends on agriculture, livestock, industry and trade. Main agricultural crops grown in the region are wheat, barley, corn, beans, tobacco, sugar beet, sunflower, potato, onion, grape, maize, watermelon, tobacco, and other vegetables. Bovine animals and small cattle are bred as livestock farming, cattle and buffalo are raised in lowland areas, sheep and goats are bred in the mountainous areas where there are plateaus, Angora goats are raised in the Zile region. In addition, all kinds of breeding studies are conducted with a view to develop dairy livestock farming. Along with Swiss Brown, Holstein type of cattle and Newjersey type of cattle in Kelkit Valley are raised in important amounts. Producers are encouraged to raise Karagül sheep in small cattle farming. Other activities are poultry, bee-breeding and small scale fishing in the lakes.
Forestry activities have an important place in the province, which is rich in terms of forests. Industry has not developed significantly in Tokat province, which was listed among Priority Provinces for Development during 1973-1980. Main industrial facilities in the province are Tokat Cigarette Factory of the General Directorate of Monopoly Enterprises (Tekel), and factories producing flour, dairy products, feed, wine, canned products, brick and tile, forest products, agricultural tools and machinery. As small sized industrial institutions, there are workshops that are producing metallic furniture, engaging with weaving, processing forest products and maintaining and repairing several vehicle.
In the province, there are cement raw materials, bentonite in Reşadiye, antimony in Turhal region, ore deposits containing limestone and travertine.
Archaeological findings from the excavations carried out in Tokat and its vicinity areas, especially Maşat Höyük and Horoztepe, have shown that the region is a residential area since Chalcolithic (MÖ.5500-3500) Period. Remaining under the sovereignty of the Hittites in BC XVII century, the region had been invaded and demolished by Kaskians during BC XV. and VIII. Centuries. Phrygians, who had invaded the West Anatolia with the migrant aegean tribes, had occupied the Hitties cities located around Çekerek, Tozanlı and Kelikt Creeks in Tokat region. There are some findings and ruin areas in Maşathöyük that belong to Phrygians period. After Cimmerians, who came from Black Sea Region, ended the hegemony of the Phrygians, first Medes and then Persians had dominated the region during BC VI Century. It stayed under Great Cappadocia Strap during the administration of Persians. The leading residential area in the region during this period was Komana, which was important from religous and commercial perspectives.
Komana City, which was established in the Gömelek Castle near to the current Tokat Province, was called as Komana Pontika not to confuse it with the other Komana in Cappadocia. Connecting to the Pontus Cappadocia in the North Cappadocia afterwards, the region became under the hegemony of Macedonians during the end of BC IV. Century. After the Great Alexander died, I. Mithradetes, who is originally Persian, established the Pontus Kingdom in the territories which also cover the Tokat region during the beginning of BC IV Century by benefiting from the disputes emerged between commanders of the Great Alexander. Becoming stronger gradually, the Pontus Kings had established strong castles called as Gazafilaklia in Niksar, Turhal and Zile and monuments, palaces and villas in Komana and Erbaa.
Pontus Kingdom, which had become stronger around Black Sea Region and had established hegemony in a great part of Anatolia gradually, had fought against Roman armies who were invading Anatolia for long years, and at the end of these wars the region became captured by Romans with certainty in BC I. Century. In order to remove the strong resistance of Pontus, Roman Empire had sent its most powerful generals to the Asia Minor; Admiral Triarius, Sulla, V. Flaccus, Lucullus and Pompeius had shown great struggles. J. Caesar came to Zile on BC 47 and encountered with the insurgent II. Pharnake, who is a Basforos King with Pontus origin, and had a great victory against him. Caesar had informed Roma on the result by stating "Veni, Vidi, Vici". Throughout the 400 years of Roman rule, trade, public works and transport facilities had advanced, new cities had been constructed in the Tokat region and the importance of Niksar, Zile and Sulusaray had increased.
Following the breakdown of the Roman Empire into two in 395, the region stayed in the territories of East Roman Empire (Byzantine) and faced with Arabic attacks after VIII. Century and the regions was exchanged between Arabs and Byzantine several times.
After the war of Malazgirt in 1071, Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Shah and Gümüştekin Ahmet Gazi had captured most of the Anatolia and had established independent lordships. Gümüştekin Ahmet Gazi, who was among the commanders of Sultan Melik Shah of Great Seljuk Empire, had declared his capital as Sivas first and Niktar later on 1095, and then, included Tokat, Zile, Turhal and Zonusa into his territories. Danishmends who has established an independent state separate from Anatolian Seljuk State increased their power by capturing Kayseri and Malatya and then they ended the Antakya Bohemont Princedom in the south and Cillicia Kingdom in the Mediterranean Region.
The region had fallen under the hegemony of Mongols following the Kösedağ War (1243) which was influenced by Baba İshak Insurrection in 1240. During the rule of Ilkhanate State, the region faced with the dynastic conflicts of Anatolian Seljuks and looted by Mongols. Then it fall under the direct control of the Mongols, Eretna Lordship in 1340, and Kadi Burhanuddin State in 1388, respectively. Following that the region fall under the control of Akkoyunlus, and then became part of the Ottomans lands by 1399. During the early XV. Century Timur had controlled the land temporarily and then it joined the Ottomans lands again in 1413.
The region had suffered significantly from the Celali İnsurrections that took place during the XVI. and XVII. Centuries. The region, whose earlier name was Dar un-Nasr, was administrated as the Tokat district of the Sivas Province.
Municipality in the region was established in 1872, its administrative status was turned into township in 1863, lieutenant governorship in 1878 and separate governorship/province in 1920. Zile insurrection took place in 1920, and actions initiated by Pontus gangs were surpressed by the army under the control of General Nurettin and by re-settling the Romans, who are part of the local people, to other regions of the Anatolia in 1921. After the declaration of Republic in Turkey, it is granted the status of Province in 1923.
The historical artifacts that can come today to Tokat are; Komana ancient city ruins, Tokat Castle, Sulusaray, Maşat Höyük, Gök Madrasah, Yağıbasan Madrasah (XII. Century), Hatuniye Madrasah (1485), Garipler Mosque, Sümbül Baba Dervish Lodge (1292), Hamza Bey Mosque (1412), Meydan Mosque (1485), Behzat Mosque (XVI. Century), Tokat Grand Mosque (1679), Ali Pasha Mosque (XVI. Century), Takyeciler Mosque, Sefer Beşe Masjid (1251), Alacamescit (1310, second construction 1505), Ebu'l Kasım Tomb (1234), Halef Sultan Tomb (1292), the Vizier Ahmed Pasha Tomb (1288), Nureddin Inb Sen Timur Tomb (1314), Abdülmuttalip Tomb (1317), Niksar Çöreğibüyük Dervish Lodge (XIV. Century), the Mevlevi Dervish Lodge, Pervane Bath (XIII. century), Mustafa bath, Yörgüç Pasha Bath(1613), Taşhan, Suluhan, Pashahan, Yazmacılar Khan, Bazaar, Behzat Market, Water Street Market, Tokat Bridge (1250), Clock Tower (1902) and the Tokat houses and mansions as examples of Turkish civil architecture, including Latifoğlu Mansion, Madimak Celal House.
Also, Ballıca Cave, Sulusaray and Reşadiye Hot Springs are natural formations of the province, and hot springs and spas are important in terms of tourism. Gij gij Hill, Gümenek, Topçam Single Tomb, Batmantaş Plateau, Alan Plateau, Gözov Regulator, Gökçeyol Pond, Almus Forest Homes, Almus Municipal Park, Çatak Plateau, Nikser Çamiçi Plateau, Ayvaz Park, Erbaa Sinkhole lake, Reşadiye Zinav Lake, Kurt Lake, Selemen Plateau, Zile Sheikh Ahmed, Esvap Creek, Başçiftlik Sinkhole Plateau, Artova Alçakgedik are the main recreation areas of the province.